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Animal shelter addition, construction projects dot commissioners’ agenda

Rowan County Commissioners will consider three significant construction projects on Monday during their regularly scheduled meeting.

The meeting’s agenda includes a presentation about an addition to the Rowan County Animal Shelter, construction documents for renovations to West End Plaza and approval of a Hickory-based company to oversee a county-owned water and sewer system. Commissioners’ meeting will be at 3 p.m. in the Rowan County Administration Building — 130 West Innes Street.

The animal shelter addition is the newest of the three projects. Proposed by non-profit group Shelter Guardians, the addition was briefly discussed in an Animal Shelter Task Force meeting earlier this year. It hasn’t, however, been talked about among all commissioners before.

Shelter Guardians is scheduled to present its proposal publicly to commissioners for the first time on Monday. The Shelter Guardians addition is separate from one that’s already under construction.

The first phase of Shelter Guardians’ addition would be for an intake area, according to Monday’s agenda attachments. A second phase would be for a new adoption center that appears to be specifically for dogs. An addition specifically for cats is under way.

Shelter Guardians’ proposed intake area would add on to the existing animal shelter building, according to construction documents. The dog adoption center appears to be a separate building.

It’s unclear whether the county would be responsible for any cost associated with the additions to the Rowan County Animal Shelter.

The Shelter Guardians’ presentation is scheduled to occur after commissioners consider construction documents for space at West End Plaza for Veterans Services and the Rowan County Board of Elections. Among other things, construction documents for the two county departments’ space lay out locations of office space, storage space and a spot for early voting during election years.

Agenda documents show construction at West End Plaza as scheduled to start in early 2016 and end in May 2016.

As part of the consent agenda — used for items with unanimous agreement — commissioners are also scheduled to consider approving Hickory-based McGill Associates as the engineering firm to oversee construction on a county-owned water and sewer system. McGill Associates was the only company to express an interest in the project. The company also completed a feasibility study for the county-owned water and sewer system.

In other business from Monday’s agenda:

• Commissioners will consider an offer to purchase a county-owned building on West Innes Street.

In late September, the county received a $300,000 offer from Faith Assembly International Church to purchase a building at 1236 West Innes Street. The church currently owns a building on East Horah Street. When contacted about the offer in September, Pastor Jacob Doe said the church wanted to expand its offerings and move into a larger facility.

The county-owned building has been vacant for multiple years, but was previously used for a division of Rowan County’s Social Services Department.

One portion of the building opened in the 1960s and another opened in 1952, according to commemorative plaques on the facility. One plaque on county-owned facility names it the “War Memorial Building.” Another names it the “Rowan County Farm and Health Center.”

After receiving the initial offer, commissioners started an upset bid process, which functions similar to an auction. Rowan County didn’t receive any additional offers for the building.

Now commissioners must decide whether to accept the $300,000 offer or reject it.

If commissioners accept the offer, it would be for significantly less than the building’s $1.2 million tax valuation.

• Commissioners will consider rescheduling a public hearing to grant tax incentives to a company located on Statesville Boulevard in Cleveland.

The public hearing was originally scheduled to occur on Monday.

Few details are available about the project. However, in a public notice for the original hearing, the company’s address is stated as 11550 Statesville Boulevard in Cleveland. The public notice states the proposed project would result in more than $35 million worth of investment or upgrades.

The address listed on the public notice is the same as Cleveland’s Freighliner manufacturing facility. The tax parcel number listed on the public notice coincides with the Freightliner facility, owned by Daimler Trucks North America LLC.

In a letter to Commissioners Chairman Greg Edds, Rowan Works Economic Development Director Robert Van Geons requests the public hearing for tax incentives be rescheduled to Nov. 16.

• Commissioners are scheduled to consider a contract for spay and neuter services with Lazy 5 Ranch Veterinary Services Inc.

According to the contract, the agreement would last five years. County government would be responsible for paying any costs associated with veterinary services. Lazy 5 would bill the county monthly, according to the contract.

Some of the services included in the contract are: cat neuter, cat spay, dog spay, dog neuter, cat pregnant, dog pregnant and declawing. Prices vary according to services. The most expensive services included in the contract is dog spay over 90 pounds at $150.

 Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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